Media and Money

Archive for the ‘NBC Comcast merger’ Category

While trying to explain to my friends why the NBC and Comcast merger was bad for this country, they all thought that this would have not effect on anything from pricing to programming.

I was shocked, alarmed then frightened to learn that Keith Olbermann has left MSNBC. His final sign-off damn near brought me to tears. On a personal note, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow-and sometimes Chris Matthews kept me sane through the 2008 presidential election.

This is scary because now it seems like any voice that opposes the views of Comcast can easily be taken away from the general public. This could lead to biased, tainted and unfair/unbalanced reporting. While we don’t know for sure why Olbermann left MSNBC, it is suspiciously coincidental that he was let go immediately after the merger was approved by the FCC. Damn shame too because I didn’t think we would see any effects until at least after January 28th. Countdown with Keith Olbermann would have called that BS from a mile away, but now we have no one as vigilant as Olbermann to call out the BS, state the obvious when the obvious has been ignored.

I am worried about getting another viewpoint or perspective. At a time when conservative talk and punditry has the highest ratings ever, I am deeply concerned about having someone speak as strongly as Olbermann about liberal and progressive issues.

I have signed online petitions and will be on the look out for what’s next for Mr. Olbermann.

But for now, “Good Night and Good Luck.”

Watch Olbermann’s Final Sign-off from Countdown:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Today, the Federal Communications Commission grants—with conditions and enforceable commitments approval of the assignment and transfer of control of broadcast, satellite, and other radio licenses from General Electric Company (GE) to Comcast Corporation. The approval will allow GE and Comcast to create a joint venture involving NBC Universal, Inc. (NBCU) and Comcast.

Some critics such as John Silver, President of the Free Press, are outraged at this merger saying:

You should be afraid and mad as hell.

The new Comcast will control an obscene number of media outlets, including the NBC broadcast network, numerous cable channels, two dozen local NBC and Telemundo stations, movie studios, online video portals, and the physical network that distributes that media content to millions of Americans through Internet and cable connections.

While even some politicians like Senator Al Franken are fighting against this push with a call to action:

This deal would mean higher cable rates and less freedom of choice for American consumers, and it would give a single media conglomerate unprecedented control over the flow of information in America. Whenever the same company owns both the content and the pipes delivering that content, consumers lose.

Already, we have seen that Comcast is not operating in good faith. By imposing a new fee on the company delivering Netflix’s online video streaming, Comcast is trying to kill off a competitor. Comcast has also refused to provide the FCC with documents necessary for the review process, and has already named the 43 executives who will take over NBC Universal.

As American consumers, we know a bad deal when we see one. Allowing this merger to proceed could lead to subsequent deals, leaving Americans at the mercy of a few powerful media conglomerates.

Sign Al Franken’s petition HERE!

Even Bloomberg has filed papers against the ruling stating the specifics:

Comcast is to pay GE $6.5 billion in cash and to contribute cable channels valued at $7.25 billion to a joint venture that will own the entertainment company. The joint venture is to include NBC Universal businesses and Comcast properties including E!, Versus and Golf Channel, the companies said in announcing the deal.

GE said in a statement today it expects about $8 billion in proceeds from the sale and a “small” after-tax gain when the transaction closes. The sale marks the end of more than two decades of ownership after GE acquired the NBC network in 1986 via its purchase of RCA Corp.

Paris-based Vivendi SA is to sell its 20 percent stake in NBC Universal as part of the deal.

Comcast was advised by Morgan Stanley, UBS AG and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, with Davis Polk & Wardwell as legal counsel. GE was advised by JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Weil, Gotshal & Manges acted as legal advisers.

Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, has filed documents opposing the Comcast-NBC Universal combination as it was proposed.


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